Conservative Asian attitudes toward sexuality are hindering the development of the world’s first global investment firm dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.
Many potential clients are unwilling to reveal their sexuality, with about 90 percent of those in senior levels in investment banks in Hong Kong refusing to do so, said Paul Thompson, activist and founder of LGBT Capital.
Begun in 2010 and based in Hong Kong and London, LGBT Capital established a subsidiary, LGBT Wealth, last year to provide consulting services to LGBT-friendly enterprises and the LGBT community. The business has yet to make a profit.
The lukewarm result came despite an estimated 500,000 LGBTs in Hong Kong plus 85 million in mainland China. Altogether, there are 200 million of them in Asia.
In 2011, the company launched a specialized product for professional investors and the world’s first LGBT Equity Index to gauge performance of LGBT-friendly listed companies.
The index has been outperforming benchmark indices, showing LGBT-friendly investment is beneficial to corporate performance, said Thompson, who once worked for Fidelity, Goldman Sachs Securities and Prudential Financial.
Thompson said the move would be the launch of retail funds in Hong Kong and Singapore.
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